L’Atelier du Chocolat
I may not be too present for the next ten days or so, because it’s an intense time of year, so I felt a moral obligation to leave you with something you can linger over.
I was, of course, incited by such posts as Laume’s where she claims I am forevermore inseparably associated with chocolate in her mind.
I like this kind of mind. In fact, if any of the rest of you should see me associating with chocolate, I encourage you, for all our sakes, to remember that adverb “inseparably” and STICK WITH IT. NO ATTEMPTS AT SEPARATING ALLOWED.
In fact, it reminds me of when a complete stranger walked up to me among a collection of writers gathered at a Susan Elizabeth Phillips’ signing and said, “Laura? Are you–Laura of the Truffles?”
THAT is the kind of thing that makes my day. In fact, when my agent and I were discussing whether or not I should write some of my books under a different name, I said, very excited: “Can that name be LAURA OF THE TRUFFLES?!!”
And she said, “Umm…maybe we’ll just stick with your real name.”
But personally, I think “Laura of the Truffles” would be good for sales.
And it would only serve to enhance my excuses to talk about such places as THIS:
L’Atelier du Chocolat is a lot of fun, something some of the highest end chocolate shops in Paris sometimes stop being. The chocolate is delicious and the premise would make anyone happy:
You browse among these bins, full of great rippling slabs of chocolate of different flavors and strengths.
If you are very unlucky, you ask your husband to take some pictures while you juggle the baby, and end up with this:
WHITE CHOCOLATE!!! The very phrase makes me so mad.
In fact, if you ever imagined Rumplestiltskin jumping up and down in berserker frustration, you can just substitute VERONICA LAKE
or LAUREN BACALL
for the actual Rumplestiltskin in that image, and you will have a good idea of me reacting to white chocolate.
Seriously. It’s like you’re a kid, all excited for Christmas, and the adults wake you up early and say, “Santa came! Go see!” and you run all happy to the living room and–
There’s no tree! There are no presents! It’s not even Christmas, it’s just somebody’s idea of a bad joke. That’s white chocolate for you.
But Sébastien thought it was aesthetically pleasing, being an artist and not realizing that aesthetics start with taste not vision, and so that’s our only close-up.
Well, and this.
But anyway. What you do is, you browse among those slabs (but NOT the white chocolate bin, which you ignore) and choose what you want, and the person working there breaks beautifully uneven hunks off and makes you–
A chocolate bouquet!
I love it.
And then she says: “Do you want any special color raffia with that? Is it a gift for your mother? ” (It being French Mother’s Day.)
And you say–
Which is a BIG FAT LIE. It wasn’t for my mother. My mother doesn’t like chocolate; I think she was abducted by aliens when she was little.
It was for my baby girl’s mother. I know she would have gotten it for me if she had a bigger allowance, but she still swallows money, so I had to take care of the present buying for her.
I bought something for Sébastien’s mother, too, though, never fear!
And you know what?
She hid it from me as soon as we gave it to her!! What’s up with that?
And here I thought we were getting along so well.